Industrial Law - Human Resources Interview Questions & Answers

What is industrial relations system?

Industrial relations are the relations between employees, employers, government and trade unions within the organizational structure.

The industrial relations system is a system of relationship between all the parties involved. A sound IR system will create an environment conducive for organizational growth and labour welfare.

Name the various parties involved in IR system?

The main parties involved in the IR system are:

i.) Employers – They are the ones who possess the rights to hire the employees and remove them. They also possess the rights to relocate, close or merge the business. They can opt for technological changes as and when they see it in the interest of business.

ii.) Employees – They are actually the ones who keep the business moving. They possess the rights to voice their opinions and feelings while striving for betterment. They usually form the unions to negotiate with the employers.

iii.) Government – Government is the one who influences the IR system with laws, rules, agreements, awards of court etc. They also include third parties & labour and tribunal courts to manage the IR system.

Why is it important to have an IR system in place?

It is important to have an IR system in place

- To ensure that the workers are not over powered and used by the employer.
- To ensure that the workers do not blackmail the employers with unnecessary demand leading to a loss of production
- To ensure that the economy keeps growing
- To ensure that even if a problem arises, it is solved amicably.

What are the benefits of having an industrial relations system in place?



Following are the benefits of having an effective IR system in place:

- Continuous production

- Continuous employment for all

- Smooth flow of income for workers and businessman

- Lesser number of disputes between employees and employers like strikes, lock outs, grievances etc.

- Higher level of motivation in the employees as they consider themselves to be a part of the organization

- Less wastage of time, man, machine and material

- Lesser cost of production

- Optimum utilization of resources leading to higher profits for employers and employees

- Economic growth of the society

What are the main objectives of industrial relations system?

The main objectives of an Industrial relations system are:

- To protect the interest of employees and employers by building up a congenial relationship.

- To avoid the human conflicts which can harm the business, the employees and the economic growth of the country.

- To increase the productivity.

- To improve the economic conditions of the workers

- To reduce the number of industrial disputes like strikes, lock outs etc.

Name the three factors Dunlop's theory advices to consider while conducting an analysis of management-labour relationship.

The three factors that Dunlop’s theory advices to consider while analysing management-labour relationship are:

- Environmental factors – Socio-political, technological, legal.

- Characteristic and interaction of key parties – employee, employer, government

- Rules obtained from the interactions that govern the employment relationship

Explain the unitary perspective of IR from employer point of view.

The unitary approach believes that the employees and employers share the same objectives, interests and purposes. They work hand-in-hand for the betterment of the organizations. However, this system expects loyalty from the employees.

From employer’s perspective, unitary approach means:

- The staffing policies should be exercised to unify the efforts. They should motivate the employees.
- The objectives of the organization should be discussed with the employees.
- A reward system should exist to secure loyalty and commitment from the employees
- Line managers should take the responsibility of their team.
- Staff-management conflicts arise form lack of information and inadequate presentation of management policies.
- Personal objectives of the employees should be integrated with the overall objectives of the organization.

Explain the unitary perspective of IR from employee point of view.

The unitary approach from employee’s point of view means that:

- The purpose of a union is to act as a means of better communication between all the parties.

- All the parties should focus on good relationships and good working terms and conditions

- There should be flexibility in working practices.

- Employees should have a participation in workplace decisions. This promotes teamwork, creativity, problem solving abilities.

- Employees should have a feeling that the skills of their managers support them in their work.

What is the pluralistic perspective of IR system? What are the implications of this approach?

- Pluralism perspective views the organization being made up of two groups – Management and trade unions. Both of them are considered strong.

- It sees the conflicts over distribution of profits as normal and unavoidable.

- It believes that the role of management is more of persuading and co-ordinating

- Conflict is not viewed as a bad thing and is dealt with through collective bargaining

- Trade unions are viewed as legitimate representatives of employees.

The basic implications of this approach are:

- Union recognition is encouraged.
- Calls for an independent external arbitrator for resolution of conflicts.
- It calls for collective agreements to be negotiated with the trade unions
- Calls for appointment of IR specialists to advise managers in staffing and matters related to trade unions.

What is marxist perspective of IR system?

- The focus of Marxist perspective of IR system is on fundamental division of interest between capital and labour.

- It assumes that the conflict at work place is a reflection of conflict in the society.

- Trade unions are deemed as a natural response from workers to protect themselves against exploitation.

Explain collective bargaining. What are the different types of activities which comprise collective bargaining.

Collective bargaining means a process of negotiations between employers and a group of employees. The purpose is to reach an agreement to regulate the working conditions.

The collective bargaining mainly comprises of 4 types of activities:

i.) Distributive bargaining – Also termed as conjunctive bargaining, this form of bargaining aims at re-distribution of benefits between the management and the group of workers. In this form of bargaining, one group gains while the other looses something.

ii.) Integrative bargaining – Also termed as co-operative bargaining, this form of bargaining is for overall improvement in the working of the organization. No party looses here, so, the level of co-operation is more.

iii.) Attitudinal restructuring – This type of bargaining mainly aims at developing a change in the attitude of the management and the employees. The purpose is to reduce the bitterness and develop a congenial atmosphere.

iv.) Intra-organizational bargaining – This kind of bargaining aims at achieving the consensus within the trade union and management group.

What are the characteristic features of collective bargaining?

The main features of collective bargaining are:

- It is a group process involving at least two parties.

- It is a process of negotiations through mutual discussions and compromise.

- It is a formal process in which employers and formal trade unions participate for discussions.

- It is a flexible process consisting of various steps.

- The process works on the basis of mutual trust and understanding between the two parties.

- It is a complementary process where each party has something to offer to each other.

- It is a constructive ongoing process.

List down the major steps of collective bargaining.

The major steps of collective bargaining are:

- Preparatory – In this stage the negotiation team is formed which comprises of the members of both the teams. Both the sides need to take a stock of their situation to find the matters which they need to take up discussion, their stand on it.

- Discussion – In this stage the ground rules governing the negotiation process are set with the agreement of both the parties.

- Proposal – The issue for which the meeting is called is defined and the possible solutions are put forth.

- Bargaining – This is the phase where actual bargaining takes place and its nitty gritties are decided.

- Settlement – After a consensus is reached, this stage consists of effective joint implementation of the agreement.

Explain CBA.



CBA – Collective Bargaining Agreement is the result of collective bargaining procedure.

These agreements can be in one of the two forms:

i.) Procedural agreement
ii.) Substantive agreement

Procedural agreements – They usually deal with the relationship between employees and employers to resolve individual and group issues. These are usually filed in the company’s rule book.

Substantive agreements – This kind of an agreement deals with specific issues like basic pay, leave policy, bonus payment etc.

What is the importance of collective bargaining to employees and employers?

Importance of collective bargaining to employees:

- It increases the strength of employees as a group.
- It helps in boosting their self respect and level of motivation
- It increases their sense of responsibility
- It helps in reaching a quick and fair settlement for employee’s issues.

Importance of collective bargaining to employers:

- It’s easier for management to deal with group issues rather than individual issues
- It leads to an increase in the level of trust among employees and employers benefiting the overall business
- Reduces absenteeism and labour turnover which increase productivity and reduces the cost and wastage
- It helps in settling the issues at an initial level before they turn into disputes

Name the three levels at which collective bargaining works.

The three levels at which collective bargaining works are:

i.) National level
ii.) Sector/ Industry level
iii.) Company level

Why are trade unions formed? What services do they provide to the members?

- Trade unions are formed to protect their members from the exploitation by their employers.
- They negotiate with the management the issues affecting the employees working in the organization.
- They intervene in the decisions which affect the workers directly like transfer, lay off etc.

Trade unions provide following services to their members:

- They educate workers about their basic rights and train them with professional skills.
- They provide legal assistance to the worker when needed
- They offer financial loans on mortgages to their members
- They offer financial help to members when they are invalid or unemployed.

Classify and explain the functions performed by trade unions.

The functions performed by trade unions can be classified into two groups:

i.) Militant Functions
ii.) Fraternal Functions

Militant functions

These activities include strike, lock outs, gherao etc which means putting up a fight with the management. Hence, they are called militant functions. They are carried out for following purposes:

a.) Rise in wages
b.) Rise in the status of workers
c.) Protection against injustice

Fraternal functions

These functions are carried out by the trade unions for the welfare of their employees which includes:

a.) Measures to boost up the workers’ morale
b.) Foster self confidence
c.) Develop sincerity and discipline
d.) Protection to women workers against discrimination

Which major factors motivate employees to join trade union?

The major factors which motivate the employees to join trade union are:

i.) Increase in bargaining power
ii.) Lesser discrimination
iii.) Higher sense of security and belongingness
iv.) Stage for self expression
v.) Ability to participate in management activities giving a sense of involvement

Name some central trade union organizations existing in India.

Some of the central trade unions in India are:

i.) AITUC - All India Trade Union Congress
ii.) BMS - Bhartiya Mazdoor Sangh
iii.) CITU - Centre of Indian Trade Unions
iv.) HMKP - Hind Mazdoor Kisan Panchayat
v.) HMS - Hind Mazdoor Sabha
vi.) IFFTU - Indian Federation of Free Trade Unions
vii.) INTUC - Indian National Trade Union Congress
viii.) NFITU - National Front of Indian Trade Unions
ix.) NLO - National Labour Organization
x.) TUCC - Trade Unions Co-ordination Centre
xi.) UTUC - United Trade Union Congress
xii.) UTUC - LS - United Trade Union Congress - Lenin Sarani

Classify Indian labour market.

Indian labour market can be mainly classified into 3 categories:

i.) Rural workers
ii.) Organized
iii.) Unorganized

What do you mean by Industrial dispute?

Industrial dispute can be defined as conflict between management and workers regarding payments or conditions related to work.

What are the main causes of Industrial dispute?

Following are the main causes of industrial dispute:

i.) Wages/ Allowance/ Bonus/ Work Load
ii.) Leave/ Working hours/ Work conditions
iii.) Retrenchment/ Lay offs
iv.) Indiscipline/ Violence

What is strike? What are its various types? What are its major causes?

When workers collectively stop to work in an industry with an intention to make the management agree to their demands, they are said to be on strike.

Strike can be classified into following types:

i.) Economic strike – for demands like wages and bonus
ii.) Sympathetic strike – to support the strike in other units.
iii.) General Strike – Strike by all the unions in an industry or region.
iv.) Sit down strike – Workers come to the work place but do not work
v.) Slow down strike – Workers work but at a low efficiency
vi.) Sick – A large number of members call in sick on the same day.
vii.) Wild cat strikes – Carried out with the consent of unions.

Explain Lockouts.

Lock out is a management’s tool in which an employer prevents the workers from working. This is a pressure tactic used by the management.

What measures do you propose to develop congenial Industrial Relations?

Following are certain measure to promote congenial industrial relations:

i.) Personnel policies acceptable to all – These should be formulated in conjunction with representatives of employees, clearly stated and uniformly implemented across the organization.

ii.) Will to sincerely implement the agreements reached together by the management and unions

iii.) Participation of worker’s in managerial decisions

iv.) Mutual trust and respect within employees and employers

v.) Compromising attitude

vi.) Strong and stable unions

vii.) Government’s role as a peacemaker when the employees and employers are not able to solve the issues themselves.
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Discussion Board
Union agreement
can we make agreement of DA below govt law
manoj kank 10-12-2014
HR - Industrial Law
1.What is industrial relations system?
2. Name the various parties involved in IR system?
3. What are the main issues covered IR system?
4. Why is it important to have an IR system in place?
5. What are the benefits of having an industrial relations system in place?
6. What are the main objectives of industrial relations system?
7. Explain Dunlop's theory of industrial labor relations.
8. Name the three factors Dunlop's theory advice to consider while conducting and analysis of management-labor relationship.
9. Explain the unitary perspective of IR from employer point of view.
10. Explain the unitary perspective of IR from employee point of view.
11. What is the pluralistic perspective of IR system? What are the implications of this approach?
12. What is marxist perspective of IR system?
13. Explain collective bargaining. What are the different types of activities which comprise collective bargaining.
14. What are the characteristic features of collective bargaining?
15. List down the major steps of collective bargaining.
16. Explain CBA.
17. What is the importance of collective bargaining to employees and employers.
18. Name the three levels at which collective bargaining works?
19. Why are trade unions formed? What services do they provide to the members?
20. Classify and explain the funtions performed by trade unions
21. Which major factors motivate employees to join trade union?
22. Name some central trade union organizations existing in India.
23. Classify Indian labor market.
24. What do you mean by Industrial dispute?
25. What are the main causes of Industrial dispute.
26. What is strike? What are its various types? What are its major causes?
27. Explain Lockouts.
28. What measures do you propose to develop congenial Industrial Relations?
29. What are the qualifications required to be a conciliation officer? Explain the process of appointment of conciliation officer as per Industrial Disputes Act, 1947?
HR - Industrial Law 02-3-2012